Football team hosts rival Broncos Saturday for Cannon Trophy
The Western Michigan football team snapped a five-game losing streak against Central Michigan last season with a 44-14 victory in Kalamazoo, Mich.
But CMU will look to avenge the loss and regain the Cannon Trophy when it hosts WMU on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Anytime you are involved in a rivalry game of this magnitude, it just brings a little more intensity to the game,” head coach Dan Enos said. “They are fun to be a part of. To me, it’s what college athletics and college football is all about.”
Senior safety Jahleel Addae said the team is focused on the upcoming contest and not dwelling on last year’s loss.
“We know we lost last year, but we’re not looking at that,” he said. “We just know it's Western Michigan, and that’s all that needs to be said. It’s a rivalry game, and nothing is bigger than that.”
The Broncos (3-6) are on a three-game losing streak and have fallen to 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
Senior quarterback Alex Carder will not return to the lineup Saturday. He has been out with an injured finger on his throwing hand since leaving the game against Connecticut on Sept. 21.
Junior Tyler Van Tubbergen will continue to take snaps from center. Van Tubbergen has thrown for 1463 yards this season with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
“He’s a big, strong kid,” Addae said. “He can run and has physical receivers.”
The Broncos defense is third in the MAC with 21 sacks. They have four players with three or more.
“I think (defensive end) Freddy Bishop is a very good player,” Enos said. “He is very active and is one of the better defensive linemen in this league. And (defensive tackle) Travonte Boles is a quick guy with good size.”
WMU is also tied for fourth in the conference with eight interceptions.
“They’ve done a good job with their scheme,” Enos said. “They’ve changed their defense to try and play up to their personnel a little bit and they do a good job getting after the quarterback.”
CMU (3-5) will look to stay in the win column after snapping a four-game losing streak last Saturday against Akron.
After defeating WMU his sophomore season, senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff said he would love to improve to 2-1 as a starter against the Broncos.
“The tradition behind this game is huge,” Radcliff said. “It’s my last year, and it’s everything right now. And it’s huge for our season right now, too. We need this game.”
Enos said there are no new injuries from last week’s win. Offensive tackle Jake Olson, defensive end Alex Smith and wide receiver Jerry Harris are all still recovering from various injuries.
CMU is 37-44-2 all-time against the Broncos.